Servicios Sociales de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID) has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1962. Now with programs and initiatives in Haiti, communities throughout all of Hispaniola benefit from the ministry of SSID. With a team of regional directors and local area leaders, SSID is able to fulfill the biblical call to care for the poorest of the poor. Whether policies or governmental support is available for the people is no matter. SSID recognizes the need to fulfill God’s desire to care for one another.
The most recent program was a training workshop entitled “Celebrating the Family”. Regional Directors were trained on moving their communities through three phases of facing the past, analyzing the present, and planning for the future. The aim of this workshop is to create space for attendants to address their individual and familial needs as well as think about the future in some capacity.
Realistically, this space to dream of the future proves difficult when many basic needs remain unmet. A repeated phrase throughout the workshop was, “You can’t hear your thoughts if your stomach is screaming.” Meaning, it is difficult to ask families to dream of their future when they do not know if they will eat today. There is both a mandate from scripture, as well as a daily call to tend to the deepest and most immediate needs of our neighbors. This reality grounds the work of SSID.
The impact of the diligent efforts here at SSID reaches far and wide. In addition to the reverberations that make it to our churches in the United States institutions from Norway also respond to the endeavors of SSID. Just this week a group of students from a boarding school in Norway came to learn about the mission and networks of SSID with hands on experience. In this way, our partners model care for their communities as well as generous hospitality to visitors.
From local connections to international relationships SSID has a balanced approach to meeting the world heart forward. And, there is no compromising the gospel message for the sake of individual or bureaucratic gain. As political tensions rise around the world it is ever more important to stay rooted in the power of community. Please join me in praying for our roots-those that nourish us most immediately, and those that connect us to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Toni Reynolds serves with the Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID) in the Dominican Republic. She serves as an assistant for program coordination. Her appointment is supported by Week of Compassion.